Tribune studio up for sale


Since new Tribune Company director-investor Sam Zell made his billions mostly from buying and selling real estate, it is hardly surprising that the company is reassessing its real estate portfolio. The big property on the block now is the former Warner Brothers studio in Hollywood, which now houses KTLA-TV (Ch. 5, CW), Tribune Entertainment and Tribune Studios. The Los Angeles Times, also owned by Tribune, quotes a local real estate expert as estimating that the property is worth around 175 million. Warner Brothers began building the grand facility in 1919. The Colonial-style main building, known as "Tara," completed in 1923, and a sound stage on the lot are registered historic properties, subject to restrictions on any changes. But there has been a resurgence in investment interest in Hollywood properties in recent years, so there could be considerable interest in the property.

TVBR observation: KTLA and every other TV station in LA could easily fit into this facility, so Tribune hardly needs the massive property it got when it acquired KTLA from Gene Autry in 1986. Tribune can cut debt by selling the property and then lease space elsewhere for new, updated studios for KTLA. Lots of production companies lease studio space to produce TV shows, in fact quite a few lease from Tribune Studios, so that will be no problem for Tribune Entertainment.